Wicked Wednesday: Burlesque
I went to a burlesque night for New Year’s Eve, the second year in a row I have done so. It feels appropriate for this inspire the first Wicked Wednesday of the New Year. Let’s hope I can do more for 2013!
This took a more sinister turn than I expected it would. It is not, I should add, based on any events that actually happened on New Year. As far as I know. 😉
It isn’t the corset that’s making it hard to breathe. It’s the man on the dance floor, through the throng of the crowd.
Above the floor, red lanterns glow like baubles of hell fire. The dancers are dressed for a night out in any era but the one they exist in; corsets are a plenty, but so are fedoras, bustles, fascinators, hoop skirts, patterned waistcoats, braces, top hats, monocles, and walking sticks. The red light aside, the atmosphere is frisky, frivolous. People dance for themselves and their friends, for fun, not an audience.
He is different. He is basking in the glow, dancing as if through flames, for attention, for show. He’s not quite Michael Jackson – who could be? – but he moves with fluidity and slickness. He is a snake dancing to the charmer’s pipe, hips undulating and rolling, arms likes branches in a storm. She’s already stopped her simple foot to foot movements, and stands, watching him. All on her
Then, from under the brim of his hat, a black fedora with a dark feather, his eyes fix on her. She cannot see their colour, only their sharp glean. Him catching her so openly staring makes her breath halt. She puts her hand to her throat. It’s burning. Her bare legs feel even more naked, her heels scarcely able to keep her upright, and the corset clinches her chest, unrelenting.
He’s stops, and tips the hat further forward, so she can only see the tip of his nose, and his mouth. His devil’s smile. And then he spins, twice, and the fedora comes off, tipped forward, and he’s bowing in her direction. He is still smiling, cocky, lascivious, but there is more beneath it. A predators leer.
Her hand braces her throat as she tries to inhale.
A shift on the floor, and on the stage, the entertainers gather for the countdown. Behind her, her friends huddle, some hands trying to reach out to her and draw her back into their safety net, but she steps forward, a single juddering step. She sways, and takes another, going to him.
Oh God. She’s going to fall.
The count begins. Ten, nine, eight… He isn’t moving. His fedora is still out, but beckoning towards him, coaxing her. He nods, and his mouth is forming the words ‘yes, yes, yes’ with each number. Five, four, three…
And she trips as New Year is reached. She falls towards him, and he swoops his arms to catch her. He doesn’t let her stand quite upright, but hauls her to his mouth. His lips and tongue meld her to him, and around her, the cheers sound like they are underwater, murky and distant. For it is drowned out by the beating of her blood in her ears, and as his hands grasp her corseted waist, she knows he could crush her into oblivion if he so desired.
When he breaks from her mouth, the tips of his tongue glides across her cheek to her ear, and he as he pulls her chest so she’s right close to him, about to be enclosed, he whispers;
“Happy New Year…”